Past Speakers

Some of the leaders who've presented for us.

Speaker: Antonella Castro

Antonella Castro PhotoSenior Counsel, Mobilitie LLC

  • Negotiate and draft venue agreements, carrier agreements, office leases, non-disturbance agreements, construction contracts, and various consultant agreements.
  • Provide legal support to the sales, deployment, and technology teams.
  • Support the management and human resources team in day to day operations.



Speaker: Alison Curtis

DSC_3700 (deleted 81acb396158523a1c04ac50ead85df49)Director of Corporate Strategy, Edwards Lifesciences

Ali specializes in building high-trust, highly-effective teams, developing future leaders, and innovating life-saving, medical technologies.

She brings 17 years of varied, industry experience in the cardiovascular medical device field. Half of her career has been spent designing, developing, and managing new product development projects from napkin to patient. The other half has been in developing strategies and marketing materials to bring these innovations to new markets and expanded patient populations. She is currently a Director in Corporate Strategy, leveraging her skills and talents across multiple business units.

Although developing over a dozen life-saving products has fueled her passion for success, developing young engineers, exploring leadership, and building teams is her real love.

Ali holds a Bachelor’s degree in engineering from Trinity University and a Master’s in biomedical engineering from University of Pittsburgh.


Speaker: Keith Newburry

Keith-Newburry-picPresident & Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, Edwards Lifesciences

Keith A. Newburry is the Vice President, Chief Intellectual Property Counsel of Edwards Lifesciences Corporation, an S&P 500 company based in Irvine, California. Mr. Newburry leads IP efforts for the Company. He has deep experience in foreign and domestic patent litigation, foreign patent and trademark trials, and appeals in London, Dusseldorf, Munich, Milan, and other foreign courts. In March, 2010, his team won a willful infringement verdict and a $74,000,000 award in a patent infringement lawsuit in Delaware. He practiced law at Pretty Schroeder Brueggemann & Clark and Sheppard Mullin, is a past President of the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association, was named a Southern California Superlawer, was Chief IP Counsel of Avery Dennison Corporation, and holds one U.S. patent. Mr. Newburry holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and a Law degree from the University of Southern California.


Speaker: Isaiah Leslie

Isaiah Low res headshotPresident, Regal Court Reporting

Isaiah Leslie, President of Regal Court Reporting, has over ten years of experience developing business relationships and building trust with clients. His previous sales and account management background in the newspaper, manufacturing, financial, and legal services industries equips him with the knowledge and expertise to anticipate potential problems and provide solutions for a broad range of legal entities from solo practitioners to large national firms.

Isaiah is a member of the Litigation and Law Practice Management & Technology sections of the California State Bar. He is also a member of the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Irvine Chamber of Commerce.

Isaiah holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Southern California.



Speaker: Jennifer Friend

jennifer friend picExecutive Director, Project Hope Alliance

When Jennifer Friend was in her formative middle and high school years, she was smart, ambitious and had a supportive mother and father. Unfortunately, she was often also homeless. Or almost, anyway. For much of her school years, Friend was one of Orange County’s “motel kids” – children who live in motels because their parents lack the financial stability to afford a permanent home. Hence, entire families are relegated to a 214-square-foot room with no kitchen, no privacy and an assortment of nefarious characters doing everything from selling drugs and sex to committing violent crimes in the rooms around them. In Friend’s case, the 214 square feet was filled with her father, a technology entrepreneur whose business ventures were sporadic; her mother, a preschool teacher; and three brothers.

It made it a little tough to be a kid, let alone do her math homework.

But somehow Friend not only survived, she excelled. She graduated from high school – then UC Irvine – then Whittier Law School. At age 38, she made partner at the Santa Ana office of Selman Breitman law firm. It was, to say the least, an incredible feat for someone who once considered a closet her room in a one-bedroom apartment her parents managed to rent for a while between hotel stints.

“I was determined. I am sometimes determined to a fault. And my faith had a tremendous amount to do with it. I grew up always believing that I mattered and that I did have a purpose and that I was responsible for fulfilling that purpose,” she says.

That purpose is to help as many as she can of the estimated 28,000 homeless kids in Orange County, many living in motels and shelters, to get a good education. To do it, she left her well-appointed partner’s law office and took over as executive director at Orange County’s Project Hope Alliance – where her office is now used for the school’s kindergarten lunch and music. Project Hope Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending family homelessness in Orange County by helping kids get an education and families move into permanent housing. They do it through individual, corporate and foundation donors. And the dedicated work from people like Friend.



Speaker: Dr. Tam Nguyen

President & Owner, Advance Beauty CollegeTam Nguyen

Dr. Tam Nguyen is the President and Owner of Advance Beauty College based in Garden Grove, California.

Dr. Nguyen was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the USA in 1975 at the age of one.  He was raised in Walnut, California attending pre-school to high school in the Walnut Valley Unified School District.  Tam earned a BS in Biological Sciences and a Minor in Business Management from UC Irvine in 1995. He also completed his MD in 2000, and went on to obtain his MBA at Cal State Fullerton in 2005.  Tam also is a graduate of the 2008 Orange County Superior Court Leadership Academy.

As President of Advance Beauty College, Dr. Nguyen handles various aspects such as marketing, management, and community outreach. The accredited beauty college has been ranked among the top in the nation for its manicuring program.  Tam also serves on the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences as an evaluator, assisting schools to obtain funding from the Department of Education.  In addition, he was the creator of the Vietnamese Beauty Expo, which attracted thousands of attendees in 2006.

Dr. Nguyen is very active in the community and currently serves on the Board of the St. Anselm’s Cross Cultural Community Center, which provides services to the immigrant communities.  He is also serves on the Boards of the Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce, and the Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association.  Tam also is a Board Member for the Project Vietnam Foundation, a volunteer medical missionary group that serves poor rural villages in Vietnam.

Dr. Nguyen remains involved at Cal State Fullerton.  He is the VP of the Alumni Association and co-founder of the Vietnamese American MBA chapter.  He serves on the Vietnamese Task Force and has been a panelist for the Asian American and Pacific Islander Leadership Institute. He also chaired the 50th Anniversary Vietnamese International Bridging Expo which brought over 2,000 attendees over 3 days to Cal State Fullerton.

He has been featured on Channel 18 KSCI as well as in Viet Salon Magazine, Titan Magazine, Garden Grove Journal, Orange County Business Journal and LA Times.  Dr. Nguyen and his wife reside in Fountain Valley with their son.  They enjoy traveling and volunteering for non-profit organizations in the community and humanitarian projects in Vietnam.


Speaker: Dr. Jalin B Johnson

Jalin_Brooks_JohnsonBrandman University

Dr. Johnson has contributed to the field of Higher Education spanning three decades. Her professional background is in Strategic Business Development, Marketing, PR and Organizational Leadership. Her ongoing research and study is focused on Behavioral theories, Organizational Leadership, Social Sciences, Military education and Group Dynamics.

During her tenure at Brandman University, she has enjoyed serving in roles including that of Assistant Professor (School of Business & Professional studies) and Adjunct Faculty (Arts & Sciences and School of Education – Doctoral program). She is an active member of Brandman’s Institutional Review Board (IRB), Organizational Leadership and Competency Based Education (CBE) Curriculum teams respectively. During her time at Brandman, she was honored to receive the prestigious Chancellor’s C.A.F.E. Award for ‘Respect,’ one of the institution’s pillars of excellence.

Throughout the years, she has maintained an active dedication to community service and volunteer work in various Southern CA based not-for-profit/charitable organizations. Through these efforts, she continues to mentor young women and girls focused on life-long learning, community enrichment and service to all mankind.

She enjoys balancing time with her family and being an advocate for others including her participation as the Vice Chairman of the John F. Kennedy Elementary School, School Site Council, volunteer for the Parent Teacher Association, Speaker’s Institure Executive Board member, Brandman University Outreach Advisory Board member (Inland counties) and contributor to the Brandman University blog.


Speaker: Dr. Deb Ferber

deborah-ferber-newFull-time Faculty, Brandman University

Dr. Ferber is a full-time faculty with Brandman University Business School. She likes to be referred to as an entrepreneur or intrepreneur in business and education.    Her philosophy of teaching evolved from instructing and building business courses and hands on international business knowledge as a Manager, Director, President, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Managing Partner and Associate Dean of National and International Organizations. Some of the organizations she has worked with include:  Kelly Paper, Deutsche Bank, KPMG, US Navy, NRA, 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, Allstate, Xerox, Ingram Micro, IBM and Microsoft. She has written books and has been published in national and international publications.  She continues to keep her business skills sharp by sitting on various boards, publishing and lecturing on business topics to international trade organizations.


  • Business Management Innovation
  • Human Resources
  • Entrepreneur


North Central University, DBA – Doctorate of Business Administration

Chapman University, MS in Human Resource Management & Development

Chapman University, BA in Sociology & Business


Speaker: Kevin Maloney

kevin maloney picPresident & CEO, QuantumSphere

Mr. Maloney is a serial entrepreneur responsible for QSI’s operational execution and creating shareholder value. Since the Company’s inception, he has raised more than $30 million in private equity funding and secured brand name global partners in the chemical and battery sectors along with multiple government agencies. He also led an IP strategy resulting in several issued patents and has developed and taken multiple revenue-producing products to market.

Prior to QSI, Mr. Maloney was vice president of institutional sales and marketing at First American Corp. (NYSE:FAF) working in the Capital Management and Trust Division. Previously, Mr. Maloney served as Principal and Compliance Officer at Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), an institutional investment advisory firm with over $1.5 trillion in assets under management, where he also held NASD Series 7, 26, 63, and 65 securities licenses.

With a lifelong passion for health, fitness, and marketing, Mr. Maloney co-founded a health food company that created a “Ready-to-Blend” all natural fruit smoothie product, which grew into a leading pre-packaged solution for convenient, healthy, freshly blended beverages on-the-go. More than 10 million units were sold nationally before being acquired. He was also a co-founder of a social media technology company that was acquired by a public company.

Mr. Maloney has been involved with eight start-ups and has consulted with and raised capital for numerous private equity transactions ranging from bio-tech, clean energy, chemicals, and software to health food and social media. He also sits on the regional board of directors of Gen Next, an OC-based non-profit focused on economic growth, education, and national security, and is a member of the International Executive Committee for the Internet Marketing Association (IMA). Mr. Maloney has been awarded several U.S. patents and earned his B.A. from the University of California, Irvine and an MBA from Pepperdine University.


Speaker: Gary Brahm

Gary BrahmChancellor, Brandman University

Gary Brahm is Chancellor and CEO of Brandman University, a member of the Chapman University System. Brandman is a private, nonprofit institution serving more than 12,000 adult and military students across 26 locations throughout the states of California and Washington, and nationally through the university’s online campus. Over the past 56 years, Brandman has grown from a single-classroom Chapman program at the El Toro Marine base into a thriving university that is consistently recognized with prestigious industry awards and boasts some of the highest graduation rates in the country. Mr. Brahm was selected as the Founding Chancellor of Brandman, overseeing the transition from the Chapman program to a separate, accredited university with nearly 2,500 staff and faculty members, and an operating budget of $100 million.

Prior to his present position, Chancellor Brahm served as the executive vice president for finance and administration and chief operating officer of Chapman University for over 13 years. Brahm was responsible for enrollment management, financial aid, registrar, student life, investments, budgeting, information systems, human resources, facilities management and campus planning, and business services.

Chancellor Brahm has periodically served as chair or a member of numerous Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation visiting teams. He also completed a 3-year term as a member of the WASC Interim Review Committee. He has presented on non-traditional education, online, and competency-based education at the American Council for Higher Education annual meeting, the Association of Governing Boards National Conference on Trusteeship, the Credit Suisse Global Conference, the WASC Academic Resource Conference and many others. He has served as director and officer at numerous nonprofit and public organizations.

Prior to joining Chapman University in 1994, Brahm was vice president of finance and CFO at National University. He has also served as vice president and CFO at Anadite, Inc. as well as vice president and CFO at LAM Industries. He started his career as a manager with Ernst & Whitney (now Ernst & Young). Brahm received a bachelor’s degree in biology from California State University, Northridge and a master’s in business administration from the University of Southern California.


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